Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Contrived Politics of Scarcity and Water Politics, "Toilet to tap"

Will you be drinking recycled sewage water so that we can build an Urban Marin?




Editor's Note: I sent the article on

" Why Californians Will Soon Be Drinking Their Own Pee " to a friend this morning. 

Here is their response:

Thanks for your note. I appreciate it.
My two cents on water and Plan Bay Area (a favorite topic of mine):
If folks are interested in water, here are two good books on the topic:
* The author of "The Man Who Made it Rain" discusses water issues in Marin
* "Cadillac Desert" gives a more broad view of water in California with some good history

"Plan Bay Area: Caps your Life, Trades your Freedom".

We live in a semi-arid State and for decades have built infrastructure to move water from source to demand areas. There are many issues surrounding water for nature, water pollution and water supply. More on this if you are interested.
Few people know that they are already drinking effluent from wastewater treatment plants which discharge tertiary treated wastewater into rivers throughout the State including the Sacramento and San Jacinto rivers. That water is then taken out of the rivers downstream for treatment as a drinking water supply. These rivers drain into the Delta, a source for many water supply agencies. Here's a link to a map of the rivers of California:
The good thing about water is that it can be purified from the worst condition using a variety of techniques. The natural treatment of water happens everyday through the hydrologic cycle. The only real issue is cost, as we have need to accelerate this natural purification process to meet demand.
Water reuse has been billed as a "drought proof" supply and so, in my view, should allow us to maintain our current use of water. Others see this supply as a means to support more growth or provide water for nature.
In my view, what we Americans are facing, is the contrived, political creation of scarcity in the USA. The politics of scarcity can be viewed as the unavailability of resources required to sustain life, such as food, energy, or water and can undermine security in degrees similar to military aggression.
If I understand it correctly, taking Plan Bay Area and sustainable development to its unabated "sustainable" conclusion, we are looking at water reuse and conservation which ends in the per capita rationing of water and other resources (energy, gHg emissions, etc.) for all of us except perhaps a select few. A distinction is made between water for man and water for nature which supports this scarcity. No more lawns, swimming pools, Saturday afternoon car washes, or long hot showers. These water uses are likely not "sustainable".
In my view, Plan Bay Area, our nine County sustainable community strategy, with other regional initiatives implemented by the Joint Policy Committee (JPC/JPA) creates scarcity, ultimately, as a means of control.
For a broader view on this issue: "The Unfinished Agenda", a Task Force Report sponsored by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is The Citizen's Policy Guide to Environmental Issues. "The Unfinished Agenda" report states on page 155 that "this book is about a world transition from abundance to scarcity."
This Task Force was part of the Environmental Quality Council that grew out of the U.S. Congressional legislation: The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
Another report that may be of interest is the 1969 Rockefeller Commission report titled: "Population and the American Future". This report signed off by President Richard M. Nixon, when Nelson Rockefeller was Vice-President, includes the following quote in the Preface: "Whether man’s response to that challenge will be a cause for pride or for despair in the year 2000 will depend very much on what we do today."
Personally, I think the year 2000 came and went without a lot of fanfare. In my view, there are many aspects to these reports that are not relevant or are an effort to create and/or respond to a reality which does not exist.
If I understand correctly, NEPA is the legislative/governmental mechanism which brought environmentalism to the world stage and then back to the USA through the 1992 UN Earth Summit and Agenda 21, the Biodiversity Assessment and President Clinton's: President's Council on Sustainable Development Towards a Sustainable America report and then locally as Plan Bay Area. The "soft law" of sustainable development is becoming "hard law" which each State law that is passed to support it's implementation.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force."-George Washington

Regarding population, as I understand it there are two aspects: our own children and our nation's immigration policy. These people will need land, food, water, a place to live work and raise their own families. Do we grow vertically as we are now being coerced with RHNA/PDA's, or do we grow horizontally, developing more suburban land that is currently in rural areas?
What do we want to do? We the people, have some difficult decisions to make. We may want to work on getting the ABAG population projections reduced which are more than a million over natural trends in population growth for our nine counties. We may also want to oppose the $11 billion dollar water bond measure planned for the November ballot. If our 45 organizations want to consider working on these issues with their members, I think we can have a real impact.
The climate is changing, the seas are rising; all hell will break loose if we don't do something to save the planet, save the children or enslave ourselves to ensure world peace. Lot's of dire predictions and generalities are used to manipulate the masses to impose programs which benefit those advancing the solutions. Could it be about money, power and control?  :)
Those who have studied history know that "in the course of human events": something happens in the world, all the time, everyday and the sky does not fall. People die, people fight, people suffer, people thrive, people are happy, people struggle in this life to find meaning, comfort and fulfillment as they meet their basic needs and then some. This is the human condition.
As I understand it, today we have more people living better, longer, richer, more peaceful lives than at any time in history. To me, this is good news. I'm optimistic we can address our social and environmental challenges using our constitutional self-government system to make our lives better still, retain our rights and help others do the same.
We change what we can (acting respectfully), accept what we cannot change and hope we have the wisdom to know the difference.
I think many of us do our best to be good people, help where we can and enjoy the precious gifts of love, life and freedom.
I'm not letting anyone take my rights and freedoms away from me without a fight.
All the best,
"a friend"

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